August 5, 1998
Dear SCAN members,
Twenty-one SCAN members and two guests visited the 2200 acre Harbison State Forest in Richland County on Saturday July 25. Located on the north end of Columbia, it is convenient to many members of SCAN. Typical of this summer, the day was oppressively hot which quieted most of the normally abundant birds in this forest. In the morning, the group covered a hilly section of the forest that contained hardwoods and pine. In the afternoon (after lunch), the group visited a field next to the Broad River that is often flooded in the spring. A Prothonotory Warbler was spotted on the edge of the field, a first for Jerry in the area. The forest is clearly a very diverse area squeezed into the middle of the city of Columbia.
Special thanks are due to Jerry Shrum, a SCAN member and Head of Environmental Education for Harbison State Forest, for leading the trip. In addition, I want to thank Alex Ciegler, the Central Regional Director, for a well set up trip.
August 22, 1998 at 10:30 a.m.
ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge, The Grove Plantation, Charleston County
The Grove Plantation was at one time a rice plantation, and more recently a cattle ranch, but now it serves as the headquarters of one of our newest National Wildlife Refuges. Our walk will take us through a mixed habitat of forested areas interspersed with old fields and pastures, and we will look for wading and shore birds at a small impoundment. The old pastures will be full of insect life, and they are home to nesting populations of Painted and Indigo Buntings and Blue Grosbeaks. The habitat is good for butterflies, and there is the possibility of seeing some unusual coastal species. The water level in the small pond is being manipulated to trap small feeder fish, attracting a diverse assemblage of birds. Your Regional Director visited the pond on August 1 and found Wood Storks, Stilts, Glossy Ibis, several heron and egret species, and various shorebirds. The highlight though, had to be a family of Least Bitterns which graciously let me watch as they clung to the arching grass blades and snatched tiny fish from the water! Do join us to see this special area.
Please remember to bring sunscreen and PLENTY of insect repellent. The mosquitoes and deer flies can be EXTREMELY abundant here. There are no bathroom facilities, so plan accordingly. It would be best to bring a lunch or snacks you can take with you on the trail, and don’t forget to carry plenty of water.
If you have a spotting scope, you will definitely want to bring it, but be forewarned that you will have to carry it approximately one mile to reach the pond.
The Grove Plantation is located on the Edisto River just east of US 17. To reach it from the Upstate, take I-95 to Walterboro and then follow SC 64 to its intersection with US 17 at Jacksonboro. Follow US 17 north, and approximately 3 miles after crossing the Edisto River, you will come to S.R. 38 at Parker’s Ferry. Turn right on S.R. 38 and follow it until it ends at S.R. 55 (approximately 5 miles.) Take a left on S.R. 55 (Willtown Bluff Rd.). This road will be dirt for a short distance; after the pavement starts, go approximately 1 more mile to Jehossee Island Road. Turn right, and this road will take you directly to the Refuge parking area.
From Charleston, take US 17 south to SC 174. Turn left on SC 174 and continue through Adam’s Run (SC 174 makes a sharp right-hand turn there.) Approximately 1 mile after Adam’s Run, turn right on S.R. 55. Go about 1.8 miles, and you will see the Refuge sign at Jehossee Island Road.